Kirkus Reviews QR Code
DIG DIG DIGGING by Margaret Mayo


by Margaret Mayo & illustrated by Alex Ayliffe

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-8050-6840-6
Publisher: Henry Holt

Diggers are good at dig, dig, digging, / scooping up the earth, and lifting and tipping. / They make huge holes with their dig, dig, digging. / They can work all day.” With simple rhymes and bold illustrations, Mayo (Wiggle Waggle Fun, 2002, etc.) and Ayliffe (The Busy Building Book, not reviewed, etc.) introduce 11 working vehicles. As the title and cover suggest, most of them are used in construction. Created out of cut and torn papers, Ayliffe’s vibrant collages fill each double-page spread. “Diggers,” for example, shows the bright red machine against an expanse of mustard yellow earth; a turquoise blue fence surrounds the site and pink, lilac, and blue buildings speckle the horizon. Mayo widens her lens by putting the spotlight on “Fire Engines” and “Rescue Vehicles.” Depicting the former, Ayliffe places the vehicle against a purple slope and yellow sky; the fire engine reaches across the length of the page while an arc of water, which appears to be created out of translucent tracing paper, blasts into a burning building (“Fire engines are good at race, race, racing. / Look out! Look out! Bright lights flashing. / Hoses at the ready for swoosh, swoosh, swooshing. / They can work all day”). Tractors and garbage trucks are also highlighted. The final illustration shows the vehicles cloaked in twilight hues (“Brakes on, / engines off, the sun is setting. / No beep-beeping, no vroom-vrooming. / Shhh! / They can rest all night”). Young children, fascinated by the sounds, actions, and sheer enormity of these vehicles will find much to like in these busy scenes. (Picture book. 3-5)